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Hello, my fellow Crows and assorted Others.  Today we are reviewing “Not By Accident: Reconstructing A Careless Life”. by author Samantha Dunn.

You can click the link below, or just pop over to the review page.  Enjoy!

Bobby’s Bi-weekly Book Review

I have to make dinner, the Humans are working late, so my apologies for rushing off.  You can see I have my hands full, below.

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Ahh, folks? Are we out of Garlic Salt? I am looking everywhere, dammit!

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The Parents were gone for 24 hours.  They went roaring out of the house in the middle of the night on Friday, and came back after one a.m. on Saturday – I mean Sunday morning.

The bird gets confused with the humans whole “time” thing.  For me, it is morning, then it is afternoon, then it is night.  Much more simple.

So, they make all of this racket coming into the house, and I’m a-hearing snippets of ‘New York” and John and Eve” and Aminta and Michael” and “Vietnamese Food” and “The Q&A” – any other crow out there on their laptop want to tell me what might have been going on?  The cats below me were just as confused, and we did call a meeting to discuss the issue, but no light was shed.

Well, I cannot worry much about it – the Mother has been exhibiting all of the signs of guilt, and that means I can take full advantage of her.  I have been treated like a king for the last 4 days.  Still, they are waking up a little on the late side.

I think I may start screaming really loud around 6 a.m., just to get them out of bed.  After all, they are still up until midnight in the room next to mine, making all kinds of noise, which they justify as “work”.  Ha!

I would caw some more about this, but it seems to be working out quite well on the ass end of the deal, and today I am writing my first book review, so, gotta go!

But, I have some kind of clue…..these fell out of the Mothers pocket, and I quickly grabbed them.  They have been keeping secrets.  From the looks of these, those two have friends! No one ran this by us, and that is just Not. Okay.

Bobby D. The Crow

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I know that is the Mother on the far left. Those other two? Hmmm

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Oh, it may be blurry, but it is her, alright. And it looks like New York.

 

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Yep, the father too, looking guilty. Those Lucy's got some 'splainin' to do...

 

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Two days ago, maybe?

The only good thing about humidity is it makes your skin look absolutely fabulous.  All of that moisture.

Otherwise, it is a misery, but the beauty is, summer only lasts for two months around here.

The forest that is our lot is so old, the leaves are really too big to fully understand when written about, so here are a few photos to have something to compare.

It is just past a year since Bullet died, and it is coming up on two years since my cat Monkey died.  I have not been able to write about Monkey, and I just got word that my friend Tara Zucker lost her cat Blanche.

Tara writes much more eloquently than I, and her life with Blanche is a beautiful chronology of how we come to love the four-legged creatures that speak so well, if only we were smart enough to understand.

My shoe size? Six and a half.  Ahem

My shoe size? Six and a half. Ahem

Hand?  Not much bigger than foot.

Hand? Not much bigger than foot.

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Yes, Bobby, it is. It all started out innocently enough, a little treat for Bobby the Crow, Bullet the Rabbit, and Vinnie and Vito, the cats. The Mafia Brothers, those two.

There was good reason behind it – bad parenting. Give each one their particular version of a Pop-Tart, so that Tomas could write without the brothers jumping on him every five minutes, and so that I could write without feeling guilty that I was not spending hours petting and playing, as much as I would like to.

Now, The Treat has become mandatory. It started out in the early evening, and has progressed to every ten minutes. I stop writing to go out and throw something together for the humans to eat (gasp!), and I have Vinnie winding around my legs, always fun until someone loses an eye, Bobby on his lower perch, where he can observe kitchen activities, glaring and pounding on it, and the Bullet down the hallway in my bathroom smacking his plate against the wall.

Vito sitting at Tomas’s feet, chirping and raising his big black self up to stick a claw in Tomas’s leg.

Okay.

Quick.

Bobby – give him a peanut.

Run to the cat food cupboard and grab a handful of the junk food dry (cat version of Cap’n Crunch), sprinkle some for Vinnie in his little sushi dish, sprint down the hall and leave the rest of the junk dry on the floor for Vito, hop over the bathroom door barrier and give Bullet a fast buffet of nuts, Quaker Oats, and bannana chips, then race back to the kitchen to check our food.

Bobby has finished his peanut and is glaring again, Vinnie has finished his sprinkles and is underfoot, and I am hearing a rather ominous sizzling on the stove.

And this is just the quickie, before everybody gets their last true meal and we call it a night.

Monsters. I have created four monsters, and in the process am losing both mind and body coordination.

I am so whipped. I am so owned. I am a slave, yet still cling to the idea that they belong to me.

I wish I could say at least they are not demanding an iPod or an X-box or whatever, but I am certain the digital peanut is being invented as I sleep.

Well, kids, enjoy it while it lasts, because things are going to change in 2008.

OH yes they are.

And to all a good night.

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Poor Bobby – we live in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, and although crows do not have hyper olfactory senses, they know when there is danger and it is time to leave. Usually this is due to their ultra intense sight, and the fact that they travel in a group, called a Murder, not a flock.

Shows how scared people are of them – well, Alfred Hitchcock did not help matters now, did he?

All of the animals have been jumpy, but Bobby is going a bit out of his mind. It is hard to deal with the fact that he cannot fly, he senses danger and cannot get away from it the way he was built to protect himself. This time he is not acting like a fun loving drunk three year old, he is freaking out. His adrenaline must be racing, because he does not want attention, I have tried. He wants to rip up paper and pound and tear on his condo, and i have run out of ideas.

I sat on the desk and told him we were all on edge, told him I understood what it felt like to be trapped, promised him I would keep him safe, just talked and talked to him. That worked, as long as I did not leave the room.

I had to go and work with Tomas on music issues, then had to drive east towards the 5 freeway to buy pet food, as we were completely out because we were waiting on a check, which arrived today. Driving east is driving towards the fire areas, and the sky is that horrible sickly shade of yellow, with grey ash haze at eye level.

When I returned, Bobby had gotten down and torn up all of his fresh papers, thrown sticks and rocks out of the empty planter he uses to maneuver his way down, and had gone over to the vitamins on the counter, zero-ing in on the Jarrow brand acidophilus capsules. He was not having fun, he destroyed them.
The only upside is he has a lot of good bacteria in his system today. Hopefully it will counteract the time he managed to open Tomas’s prescription for antibiotics and stab one of the capsules to death. I admonished him that Tomas was the one in the house with a toothache, and the pills did nothing for a bothersome beak. He ignored me.

I tried to take him in my room, he did not want to go. He made sounds that were human in their sadness and fear, while pacing around, first snapping at my hand, then putting his head down apologetically. He was acting like I do when I am PMS’ing. If a crow could burst into tears, he would have.

If I had not had to go get them something to eat, I would have stayed with him and talked until my voice gave out.

I cleaned everything up, then sat and told him that I was terribly sad also, that I was in emotional turmoil concerning my few blood relatives, but we had to do our best and hang tough, trust each other, and try not to let fear and anger cause us to destroy things.

I hope I can take my own good advice.

It is dark now, and Bobby has settled down, he is dozing in his corner. I envy him that darkness brings him peace.

To all of the fire victims out there –

A crow and his mom are, in their own way, praying for you all.

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About six years ago, my husband, Indie film composer Tomas Hradcky (He went by Tomas Hart back then) and I were stuck in five o’ clock traffic in Santa Monica, hot and hungry and tired and inching along so slowly that at one point I closed my eyes and imagined the future, right on 26th and Arizona Ave, looking just the same, except with all of the cars hosting mummified corpses a la Stephen King’s “The Stand”. We were just trying to get to Quizno’s, the entrance to the parking lot was a mere ten feet away, but we were going to die of hunger before we got there. (Los Angelinos, you KNOW I am not exaggerating).

Out of the corner of my right eye, as I was sliding down towards an ugly death, I noticed a crow on the ground, rummaging about in an overturned garbage bin, then stalking away, his left wing dragging at an unnatural angle.

I had once tried to catch and help a hurt crow – their wing(s) might be hurt, but their Lance Armstrong legs are formidable. I was alone when I tried to catch the first one, and he could outrun Jackie-Joyner-runner-lady.

(No, I do not watch sports, shut up).

He was dashing across very busy Venice Boulevard, and nearly got hit twice. I gave up, with great regret. I was just making the situation worse.

So, when I saw this Santa Monica boy, I just felt sad and helpless and didn’t say anything.

Tomas piped up.

“Did you see that poor guy? We should – ”

I shook my head, explaining that it was impossible.

“But there’s two of us,” my normally worst-case-scenario husband said hopefully.

All the while Mr. Hurt Crow was marching west down Arizona Ave., away from us.

“Any ideas about how to get out of this mess and down to Santa Monica Boulevard, make a right, then another right, to come up Arizona, and do you really think he is just going to be walking down the street?”

Tomas’s eyebrows lowered, but strangely, not at me.

“Yes, I do,” he said, teeth gritting.

Before I could make another tired, semi-sarcastic remark, we were driving on the sidewalk.

My always-on-his-best-behavior-driver husband was on a mission. His quiet insanity had finally exploded.

I figured it was best to keep my mouth shut for a change and see what was going to happen.

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